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My son is 7 months old, and we have an infant car seat that detaches from the base for easy transport, that also docks into the stroller. We use the car seat to carry him from the car to just about anywhere (although he's starting to get big enough that we sometimes leave the car seat in the car now).

We've never covered him while he's been in the car seat, aside from using the attached hood to protect him from rain/snow.

However, I've seen a lot of parents carrying their infants in similar seats, but with a blanket draped over the top to completely hide their child from sight. At first I thought that it was for parents who were transporting their infants early (we were told to keep our son at home for the first 2-4 weeks after we got home from the hospital, to avoid early sickness), and who were concerned about their baby getting sick. However, it seems way too common for that, and we've seen this done with children 6 months and older. We see it at restaurants, at the pool, at the pediatricians, and even from parents dropping off their child at daycare. In fact, this seems to be so common that we seem to be in the tiny minority by not covering him.

Is there a specific reason to cover an infant like that when traveling?

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5 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

We fully covered our baby only as protection against foul weather when outside, and against light and noise when inside (restaurant etc). And also to help him sleep or fall asleep.

Other than that, I see no reason to fully cover a baby. Covering him partially makes sense of course, to keep him warm without denying him a view of where he is and what's going on around him.

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+1 for "denying him a view of where he is and what's going on around him." So important in early years. –  Jon Hadley Apr 13 '11 at 12:16
    
Yep - sun used to bother our daughter's eyes. And indoors we covered her if she was sleeping...can be pretty bright in some restaurants... –  Swati Aug 10 '11 at 17:33
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The only reason I ever covered my children during transport was to keep them warm and keep the weather off them.

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Same here, my wife was very strict on keeping wind off the kids until they were 1 year old. I think its a chinese thing... –  MichaelF May 8 '11 at 16:02
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Probably paranoia. Other possiblity is that the baby is asleep and they are using the cover as a noise and light barrier. Personally, my wife and I never used covered the carrier for any reason other than weather, like you.

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+1 - we would drape a jacket or a blanket over the buggy when it was time for a nap - to help him fall asleep. –  mplungjan Jun 6 '11 at 6:09
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  1. To keep her warm.
  2. To keep other people from touching her.
  3. (Rarely) To help her sleep, parrot-style.

Other than that, I try to keep things open for my baby.

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Protection from strong sunlight?

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You could be right. We were always content to just use the built-in hood to protect from brief exposure to sun, but other parents might be a bit more worried about it. Here is an interesting take on sunlight exposure and children. –  Beofett Aug 10 '11 at 17:33
    
Vitamin D deficiency is a serious problem. In the UK people are recommended to give their children a Vitamin D supplement. –  DanBeale Aug 10 '11 at 17:47
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